Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made his criticism known about WWE’s decision to ban superstars from using third-party platforms such as Twitch and Cameo. As quoted by Wrestling Inc, the politician opened up about the matter in an interview with Chris Van Vliet.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, McMahon sent out a letter last Friday which prohibited employees from using the outlets. The belief is that the chairman believes that it hurts the brand’s image when they leak sensitive information.
The decision has been met with widespread criticism and started a debate regarding the rights of the talent. Yang believes that Vince McMahon and the company are mistreating the performers by depriving them of an opportunity to make money elsewhere.
According to Yang, the company is trying to “play it both ways” by claiming ownership of its roster, even though they’ve hired them as independent contractors.
This means that the promotion doesn’t have to offer its wrestlers anything in the way of health and financial benefits, as the superstars are responsible for themselves to a degree. However, their likeness — and even their real names — are considered WWE’s intellectual property.
Yang said that if the company is going to control its superstars’ lives so much, they should also take some responsibility for their well-being.
“If they have a kid, maybe they get maternity or paternity leave, maybe they get an offseason, maybe they get proper recovery time. I say this as someone who has been a longtime fan of the sport. They are putting their lives and health on the line all the time. They made Vince a billionaire and the fact that he’s being so heavy-handed about them making a buck on the side on Cameo just struck me as absurd, ridiculous and wrong.”
Yang went on to say that officials have a choice in regard to making things better for the stars. He believes that if the talent is going to be treated as independent contractors, they should have the power to do whatever they want outside of the ring.
The alternative, meanwhile, would be for McMahon to start treating them like employees and offer them perks and benefits. He cited AEW as an example of a wrestling entity that takes care of its roster without infringing on their freedom.
Officials have tried to defend the controversial rule by comparing it to the way Disney treats its actors. Yang counteracted this by noting that Disney doesn’t own the individual actors, all of whom are protected by labor unions.
Professional wrestlers, on the other hand, don’t have a union to protect them from corrupt labor laws. In Yang’s view, the talent in WWE isn’t treated like human beings under the current restrictions.